Posts Tagged ‘northern neighbor’


KHARTOUM | Thu Feb 16, 2012 

(Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan want to have the bulk of their loosely-defined and volatile border demarcated as soon as within three months, a Sudanese official said on Thursday, in a possible bid to ease tensions between the two former civil war foes.

The demarcation, however, would not include five areas that are still disputed by the two sides, said Yahya al-Hussein, a senior government official and member of Sudan’s negotiating team.

South Sudan broke off from its northern neighbor in July under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of conflict, but lingering issues such as where to draw the border and how to untangle the oil industry have continued to stoke tensions between the two sides.

Tribal disputes, overlapping territorial claims, rebel fighting and the presence of economically vital oil fields have beguiled attempts to define the exact boundary.

“The two parties have agreed to begin work on drawing the border immediately, and finish work within three months if operating conditions allow for it,” Hussein told reporters in Khartoum.

The two sides have agreed on about 90 percent of the border since 2009, Hussein added.

They have been meeting this week in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to discuss the border and other sensitive issues such as oil.

Tensions along the boundary have made it harder for the two sides to reach a deal around how much landlocked South Sudan should pay to send its oil – vital to both economies – through northern pipelines running to an export terminal in Sudan.

The new nation shut down its roughly 350,000 barrels per day of production last month in protest after Khartoum began confiscating some oil to make up for what it called unpaid fees. Officials on both sides have suggested war could break out over the row.

Hussein downplayed the chance of armed conflict, however, saying it would not benefit Sudan.

“We have no desire to enter into a war with South Sudan,” he said. “We do not have an interest in security tensions in South Sudan, which affect us negatively in the form of displacement and other issues.”

Some 2 million people died in the civil conflict between north and south, waged for all but a few years between 1955 and 2005 over ideology, ethnicity, religion and oil.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/16/us-sudan-southsudan-border-idUSTRE81F1MZ20120216

Old African division takes violent turn

By GWYNNE DYER

Sudan was bombing South Sudan again last week, only a couple of months after the two countries split apart. Sudan is mostly Muslim, and South Sudan is predominantly Christian, but the quarrel is about oil, not religion. And yet, it is really about religion too, since their border is along the religious divide.

Ivory Coast was split along the same Muslim- Christian lines for nine years, although there is an attempt to sew the country back together.

But in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest country, the situation is going from bad to worse, with the Islamist terrorists of Boko Haram murdering people all over the country in the name of imposing shariah law on the nation. The death toll from terrorist attacks and army reprisals is probably a few hundred a month, but the potential for much greater slaughter is there.

“Boko Haram,” loosely translated, means “Western education is forbidden,” and the organization’s declared aim is to overthrow the government and impose Islamic law on all of Nigeria. In a 40-minute audio message posted on YouTube two weeks ago, the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, threatened his next step would be a bombing campaign against Nigeria’s secondary schools and universities.

This is not only vicious; it is also completely loony. There is no way that Boko Haram could conquer the entire country. Only half of Nigerians are Muslims, and they are much poorer than the country’s 80 million Christians. The Christian south is where the oil, the ports and most of the industry are, so that’s where most of the money is, too. The same pattern is repeated in many other African countries: Poor Muslim north; prosperous Christian south.

There was no plan behind this. Islam spread slowly south from North Africa, which was conquered by Arab armies in the seventh century, while Christianity spread rapidly inland once European colonies appeared on the African coast in the last few hundred years. The line where Islam and Christianity meet runs across Africa about 1,100 kilometres north of the equator (except in Ethiopia, where the Christians have the highlands and the Muslims the lowlands).

In general, Muslims ended up with the desert and semi-desert regions of Africa because Islam had to make it all the way across the Sahara, while the more fertile and richer regions nearer to the equator and all the way down to South Africa are mainly Christian because the Europeans arrived by sea with much greater economic and military power. But nowhere does the frontier derive from conquest: These populations are not looking for revenge.

There probably won’t be a full-scale civil war in Nigeria this time around, but Boko Haram is targeting Christians indiscriminately. The Nigerian army, not known for its discipline and restraint, is almost as indiscriminate in targeting devout but innocent Muslims in the northern states that are home to the terrorist organization.

It will get worse in Nigeria, and it is getting bad again in what used to be Sudan, and Ethiopia is an accident just waiting to happen. Even Ivory Coast may not be out of the woods yet. There is a small but real risk that these conflicts could some day coalesce into a general Muslim-Christian confrontation that would kill millions and convulse all of Africa.

Boko Haram’s style of radical Islamism is an import from somewhere else, and it would be a terrible mistake for large numbers of Muslim Nigerians to embrace it. On the other hand, if Nigeria doesn’t get a choke chain on its army, its brutal actions are all too likely to drive Nigerian Muslims in exactly that direction.

– Gwynne Dyer is a London-based independent journalist whose articles are published in 45 countries.

http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3473772

South Sudan: VP Declares His Net Worth, Urges Peers to Do Same
AllAfrica.com
Juba — The Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Riek Machar, has officially declared his personal income, assets and liabilities while calling on all constitutional post-holders in the country to do the same. Machar issued a public statement ..

Old African division takes violent turn
Owen Sound Sun Times
By GWYNNE DYER Sudan was bombing South Sudan again last week, only a couple of months after the two countries split apart. Sudan is mostly Muslim, and South Sudan is predominantly Christian, but the quarrel is about oil, not religion…

Sudan, South Sudan agree to start drawing border: Sudan
Reuters
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan want to have the bulk of their loosely-defined and volatile border demarcated as soon as within three months, a Sudanese official said on Thursday, in a possible bid to ease tensions between the two former 

South Sudan accuses Sudan of breaking peace pact
Newsday
Click here South Sudan accuses Sudan of breaking peace pact Originally published: February 14, 2012 10:29 AM Updated: February 14, 2012 3:11 PM By The Associated Press MICHAEL ONYIEGO (Associated Press) (AP) — South Sudan on Tuesday accused its 

South Sudanese asylum-seekers fear expulsion to newly-independent state
Haaretz
In April, the Israeli government plans to expel asylum-seekers like Lurla back from whence they came, with officials arguing that since South Sudan declared independence last July, the decades-old civil war, in which 2.5 million people were killed and 

Brent holds above $118 as supply trumps Euro zone woes

Reuters
By Jessica Jaganathan | SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Brent crude held above $118 on Wednesday as supply concerns in the Middle East sparked by tensions over Iran and disruptions in South Sudantrumped a worrisome outlook for Greece, which could face a messy 

Attack on South Sudan reporter sparks critical debate
CPJ Press Freedom Online (blog)
By Tom Rhodes/CPJ East Africa Consultant February is the hottest month in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and Mading Ngor, a reporter and presenter for the Catholic-owned Bakhita FM, trudged his way through the heat to cover parliament proceedings

SG at KPMG Summit; Sudan/South Sudan; Advancement of Women; Madagascar; and more
UN Dispatch
Sudan/S. Sudan: The UN Security Council on Tuesday called on Sudan and rebels in areas borderingSouth Sudan to grant immediate access for UN aid workers to the turbulent region, expressing “deep and growing alarm” at rising hunger levels…

South Sudan accuses Sudan of breaking peace pact
The Associated Press
JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan on Tuesday accused its northern neighbor Sudan of bombing a border town, violating a non-aggression agreement between the two nations just hours after it was signed. South Sudanese military officials said Sudan 
South Sudan accuses Sudan of breaking peace pact
U-T San Diego
The establishment of the DRA is part of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, signed by the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement. (AP Photo/UNAMID, Albert Gonzalez Farran) — AP JUBA, South Sudan — South Sudan on Tuesday 
South Sudan in dire need of unity
The Citizen Daily
You need JavaScript enabled to view it In a short article entitled ‘the Myth of South Sudan‘, published in Pambazuka News, Issue No. 569 of February 2012, Makol Bona Malwal has the following to say: “Most South Sudanese have little idea what the 
IOM says Sudanese deal struck over resettlement
CBS News
(AP) GENEVA — A half-million South Sudanese people living in Sudan will have the choice to go home after a new deal was struck between the two countries, but a fast-approaching deadline leaves little time to make the difficult journey, an 
Israel’s Spacecom looks to boost South Sudan telecommunications
Bikya Masr
CAIRO: Israel’s leading communications satellite company Spacecom, which operates the AMOS satellites across the world, hopes that recent discussions with South Sudan will help boost its role in the young country’s communications and telecommunications 
Attack on South Sudan reporter sparks critical debateBy Tom Rhodes/CPJ East Africa Consultant

February is the hottest month in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and Mading Ngor, a reporter and presenter for the Catholic-owned Bakhita FM, trudged his way through the heat to cover parliament proceedings last week — only to be thrown unceremoniously out of the assembly. “Before I had time to argue, four security guards pinned me to the ground and dragged me across the floor, tearing up my trousers” Ngor, a hard-hitting, critical journalist, told me.

Continue reading.

Link: http://www.cpj.org/blog/2012/02/attack-on-south-sudan-reporter-sparks-critical-deb.php

By Paul Richardson and William Davison

(Corrects quote in third paragraph to say dispute may have unsalutary impact on economies.)

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) — The dispute between Sudan and South Sudan over oil fees, which led the south to suspend crude production, risks damaging both economies because of their dependence on the natural resource, the World Bank said.

South Sudan began halting production earlier this month after accusing Sudan of seizing oil that passes through its territory via a pipeline to an export terminal on the Red Sea and of seizing vessels carrying crude. Sudan says it is diverting the fuel to cover unpaid fees for allowing it to transit the country. South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said on Jan. 23 that Sudan has “looted” oil valued at $815 million.

“Considering the importance of oil to both sides, the lack of economic activities in the sector that’s predominant would have a huge, unsalutary impact on the economies,” Obiageli Ezekwesili, vice president for Africa at the World Bank, said in an interview yesterday in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

South Sudan took control of about three-quarters of Sudan’s output of 490,000 barrels a day when it gained independence from its northern neighbor in July. The crude is pumped mainly by China National Petroleum Corp., Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd. Sudan is demanding compensation for the loss and also wants South Sudan to pay $6 a barrel to transit the oil via the country. The neighboring country has offered to pay $1 a barrel.

The dispute presents an opportunity to “look at options other than oil for growing their economies,” Ezekwesili said. South Sudan relies on oil to generate more than 90 percent of government revenue, and Sudan depends on it for 30 percent.

Agriculture

“Whether it’s South Sudan or Sudan, agriculture is a key potential source of transformational growth,” Ezekwesili said. “They need to focus on those, they need to focus on other aspects or opportunities in attracting foreign direct investment into manufacturing and that would mean they have to focus on macro-economic reforms.”

South Sudan is set to become a member of the World Bank next month, giving the country access to zero-interest loans of $75 million a year over the next three years, Ezekwesili said. Similar loans to countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia in the past have enabled the bank to “mobilize three times that amount from other partners,” she said.

–Editor: Shaji Mathew

To contact the reporters on this story: Paul Richardson in Addis Ababa at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net; William Davison in Addis Ababa via Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-29/south-sudan-sudan-risk-economic-damage-bank-says.html

South Sudan, Sudan Risk Economic Damage on Oil, World Bank Says
BusinessWeek
29 (Bloomberg) — The dispute between Sudan and South Sudan over oil fees, which led the south to suspend crude production, risks damaging both economies because of their dependence on the natural resource, the World Bank said.

SD spirit backs Sudan rebirth
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Voting takes place on the South Sudan independence referendum. Ballots are cast in Sudan, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Australia, England and the United States. In South Sudan, 99 percent vote to secede. South Sudan declares independence, 

As Of April South Sudanese Citizens To Be Considered Foreigners In Khartoum
Eurasia Review
From April 9 onward about 700000 south Sudanese citizens living in Khartoum and other northern regions will become “foreigners”, at least at the administrative level. According to the latest provisions of the Government in order to stay they will have 

IGAD urges Sudan and S. Sudan to refrain from unilateral actions
Sudan Tribune
 President of the Republic of the Sudan; HE Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, the Honourable Henry Okello Oryem Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (International Affairs) and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of the 

South Sudan completes 90% closure of oil production
Sudan Tribune
By Ngor Arol Garang January 28, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan on Saturday said it had shut down 90% of its oil production, a day after the latest talks to resolve a fee dispute with north Sudan failed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa…

Chinese company attacked in South Kordofan: SAF
Sudan Tribune
January 28, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) on Saturday announced that fighters from the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) launched an assault on the site of a Chinese construction company in South Kordofan…

South Sudan tribe kills 22 in new ethnic violence after their group targeted 
Washington Post
JUBA, South Sudan — Members of a South Sudanese tribe targeted in massive attacks late last month have killed 22 people and burned down three villages of the opposing tribe in new attacks, a state governor said Monday. Thousands of youth from the Lou 


By LUC VAN KEMENADE 

The Associated Press

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — South Sudan and Sudan could face a “major humanitarian crisis” if they fail to solve a running oil dispute, a top U.S. envoy said Sunday as African heads of state converged on Ethiopia’s capital for an African Union summit.

At the opening of an African Union (AU) summit , in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Sunday, Jan.29, 2012, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told assembled leaders to respect people’s human rights. (AP Photo/Elias Asmare)

South Sudan recently shut down oil production after it accused Sudan of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil. Related negotiations have reached an impasse.

Both sides are acting out of desperation, taking “dramatic actions” because they fail to see prospects to reach an agreement, the U.S. special envoy to Sudan, Princeton Lyman, told The Associated Press.

Unless the two sides reach an agreement, he said, both will “suffer and suffer in not too long a period.”

Lyman said the oil crisis had pushed humanitarian issues off to the side.

“It’s clear that the situation is declining very rapidly,” he said. “Without access for the international community we see what could emerge as a major humanitarian crisis for the continent, and a preventable crisis that the African Union has to address.”

The Sudan crisis and war and hunger in Somalia are expected to dominate this year’s A.U. summit, though the gathering’s official theme is trade.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the oil dispute threatens peace and security in the region. He called on African leaders to “play a more important role solving regional issues.”

South Sudan fought a decades-long civil war with northern neighbor Sudan, a war that culminated in a 2005 peace deal that saw the partitioning of Sudan and the birth of South Sudan last July. The new border between the two countries remains tense, with sporadic cross-border attacks taking place.

In a separate incident, China said Sunday that militants loyal to South Sudan captured 29 Chinese workers in a volatile border region of Sudan.

Oil negotiations between the two neighbors have been in a deadlock for two years. They have never agreed on the transit fees South Sudan should pay to Sudan for using its infrastructure of port and pipelines.

Ban said he discussed the issue with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki. He urged Kiir to meet with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to resolve their problems.

“I am urging two leaders to demonstrate political will,” he said.

Lyman said fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile has ended most communications between the two and increased distrust.

Lyman and Ban expressed concerns about a humanitarian crisis along Sudan’s volatile border with the south, and said the Khartoum government was not cooperating with U.N. missions.

“I am deeply concerned about South Kordofan and Blue Nile State,” Ban said. “Very worrisome because of the accessibility. There is no access for humanitarian workers.”

The U.N. has also expressed humanitarian concerns in South Sudan, where more than 120,000 people need aid because of a wave of ethnic clashes in a remote and volatile region.

The two nations have been meeting in Ethiopia for oil talks. Haile Menkerios, a special U.N. representative to Sudan, said Sunday there has been no recent progress.

Also on Sunday, South Sudan’s minister of petroleum and mining said the nation will not restart oil production unless Sudan accepts a list of demands.

Stephen Dhieu Dau said South Sudan was “committed to negotiations” but that Khartoum would have to accept their offer of paying $1 per barrel for using Sudan’s pipelines for export and $2.4 billion dollar financial assistance package before South Sudan turns on production again.

He also said Sudan must withdraw troops from the disputed border region of Abyei and stop funding rebel groups in South Sudan. He said South Sudan wants an international treaty guaranteed by “international superpowers.”

___

Michael Onyiego contributed to this report from Juba, South Sudan.

___

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/officials-say-sudan-oil-1322306.html


By Hereward Holland

JUBA | Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:53pm EST

(Reuters) – South Sudan has totally shut down oil output in a row with Sudan over export transit fees and will only restart after the two reach a deal covering border security and the disputed Abyei region, its oil minister said on Sunday.

South Sudan became independent in July after a 2005 peace deal with Khartoum that ended decades of civil war. Some two million people died in the conflict.

But both sides have failed to resolve a long list of disputes including how to disentangle their oil industries, divide debt, mark the poorly drawn border and decide who should control Abyei, a region the size of Connecticut dotted with mud huts that was pummeled during the civil war.

South Sudan took about three-quarters of Sudan’s oil output when it seceded, but still needs pipelines running through its northern neighbor to export crude. The two have not agreed on a transit fee.

South Sudan depends on oil for about 98 percent of its revenues but Khartoum also relies on fees from piping the oil since last year when the loss of revenues from the oil itself plunged the country into severe economic crisis.

The shutdown of South Sudan’s oil output – which officials last put at about 350,000 barrels per day in November – was “100 percent complete” on Sunday, Minister of Petroleum and Mining Stephen Dhieu Dau told Reuters in Juba.

“Oil production will restart when we have a comprehensive agreement and all the deals are signed. Sudan must recognize the 1956 border, which means they must give back all the areas under occupation,” Dau said, referring to an internal boundary used around the time of Sudan’s independence.

The new U.N. member state said on January 20 it would shut down production after Khartoum started confiscating some oil in lieu of what it called unpaid fees.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti also said this month that an oil deal would likely depend on an agreement on border and security issues.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he was worried the dispute could reignite armed conflict between the former civil war foes.

The two countries’ presidents met on the sidelines of a meeting of East African officials in Ethiopia on Friday, but failed to resolve the row.

Many South Sudanese see the row as continuation of their struggle to win freedom. Analysts say Khartoum’s demands to be paid $36 a barrel are in well in excess of international norms. Landlocked South Sudan has proposed less than $1 a barrel.

Sudan meanwhile accuses Juba of backing rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North in the border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan which seek to overthrow President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

SPLM-N rebels in South Kordofan, where fighting broke out last June, said on Sunday they were holding Chinese workers for their own safety after a battle with the Sudanese army. Sudan responded that there had been no battle and rebels had attacked the compound of a Chinese construction company and captured 70 civilians, who the army were trying to rescue [ID:nL5E8CT030]

COMPREHENSIVE DEAL NEEDED

Sudan has already sold at least one tankerload of seized South Sudanese crude since the row broke out, industry sources have said, but on Saturday Khartoum said it would free other tankers being held at port to help defuse the dispute.

Dau said that four cargoes in question had not left the port yet, but that its agent in Sudan had been told to prepare documentation meaning it was possible they would leave later on Sunday or on Monday. China relies on the two countries for 5 percent of its crude oil imports.

South Sudan was “committed to negotiations” but first Khartoum “must take some steps,” he said.

“First they must release the cargoes, and the stolen crude that was lifted by force must be returned to us, and any deal must be tied to the issues of the border and Abyei, and they must stop sponsoring militias in South Sudan,” Dau said.

“This deal must be overseen by the international community. We will restart operations when we agree all these issues.”

Sudanese negotiators and oil officials were not immediately available to comment.

Asked if the dispute might escalate into renewed war, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon told reporters in Addis Ababa: “That is of great concern for me as secretary general. That’s why I’m meeting as many African leaders as possible.”

South Sudan’s population voted overwhelmingly to secede in a referendum a year ago, held under the terms of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of devastating civil war between Sudan’s north and south.

(Reporting by Hereward Holland and Yara Bayoumy; Writing by Ulf Laessing and Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Ben Harding)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/29/us-southsudan-idUSTRE80S0J120120129

South Sudan demands border deal before restarts oil
Reuters
By Hereward Holland | JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan has totally shut down oil output in a row with Sudan over export transit fees and will only restart after the two reach a deal covering border security and the disputed Abyei region, its oil minister 

More than 2 dozen Chinese workers captured in Sudan attack
Washington Post
The attack took place Saturday in Sudan’s South Kordofan— a region rich in oil that abuts the newly established state of South Sudan— and escalated tensions between the two countries, one largely Muslim, the other dominated by Christians.

New AU chairman faces tough challenges
Independent Online
Addis Ababa – The African Union’s new chairman faced tough challenges Sunday as UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned that a furious row between Sudan and South Sudanthreatened regional security. Thomas Boni Yayi, the president of Benin, vowed to work for peace 

African Union: Ban Ki-moon urges respect for gay rights
BBC News
He also called on the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan to reach agreement on how to divide up their oil wealth. Some analysts warn the feud risks seeing a return to all-out conflict. Delegates are meeting in the new $200m (£127m) AU headquarters, 

UN chief: Sudan oil crisis a ‘threat to peace’
Atlanta Journal Constitution
By LUC VAN KEMENADE AP ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — An oil dispute between Sudan and South Sudan has become “a serious threat to peace and security in the region,” UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Sunday as African heads of state converged on Ethiopia’s capital 

Chinese Workers Are Reported Captured by Sudan Rebels
New York Times
The rebels struck a remote camp used by Chinese road builders in South Kordofan province, an oil-rich area that has become a battlefield between the Sudanese government and rebel forces allied to the newly independent state of South Sudan.

South Sudan ethnic clashes claim 74 lives
Africa Review
By MACHEL AMOS in JubaPosted Sunday, January 29 2012 at 16:42 At least 74 people were reported dead on Sunday in fresh ethnic clashes between rival communities in two neighbouring states in South Sudan. The fighting took place on Saturday when armed 

In Addis, Ban Spins “Negligence” in S. Sudan As UN Stonewalls, Migiro Out
Inner City Press
By Matthew Russell Lee “South Sudan is twice the size of Germany, with less than 100 kilometers of paved roads. Our peacekeepers are doing all they can — with what they have. Despite severe logistical constraints, particularly air transport, 

Sudan: Chinese held by rebels in South Kordofan
BBC News
Rebels in Sudan’s volatile South Kordofan region say they are holding 29 Chinese workers who became caught up in a battle with the Sudanese army. The rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) said the workers are safe and “in good health” 

Sudans, Somalia top issues at African Union summit
The Associated Press
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Oil negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan and war and hunger in Somalia are expected to dominate discussion at a summit of African leaders in Ethiopia’s capital. The African Union said Sunday the summit’s official 


Luke Pachymuthu and Florence TanReuters4:48 a.m. CST, January 27, 2012
SINGAPORE (Reuters)- Sudan has sold at least one cargo of crude seized from South Sudan at millions of dollars discount and is offering more, industry sources said, as Khartoum looks to recover oil revenue from its former civil war foe.A bitter row has escalated between the two over the value of the transit fee landlocked South Sudan should pay for oil pumped north by pipeline through its northern neighbor and exported from Port Sudan.South Sudan is shutting down production in protest after Khartoum blocked exports and seized some of the oil as compensation. South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir accused Khartoum of having “looted” revenues amounting to roughly $815 million from crude cargoes.The seized crude was loaded onto three tankers from January 13-20, South Sudan’s justice ministry said.

Sudan sold one of those cargoes, a 600,000 barrel shipment loaded on the vessel Ratna Shradha, to a North Asian trader. The final price of the sale was unclear, but one trader said that the cargo was sold at a discount as steep as $14 a barrel. That would indicate an $8.4 million discount for the whole cargo versus the last official price charged by the South.

“This is crude from the South sold by the North at a $14 discount to the South’s last selling price,” a Middle East-based crude trader said.

The tanker is heading to Singapore, another source said.

The last time South Sudan sold Nile Blend cargoes, it did so at a premium of $2.50-$3.00 a barrel to the benchmark Indonesian Crude Price, traders said. This would indicate that Sudan has sold the cargo at a discount of around $11 a barrel to the Indonesian price.

Sudan has also loaded two other cargoes of seized Dar Blend crude, but it is not immediately clear if they have sold those. Khartoum had offered these cargoes last week at a discount to official South Sudan prices, traders said. One of them is headed to the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah, they added.

The South last sold seven cargoes of Dar Blend at discounts between $5 and $11 a barrel to dated Brent. Sudan offered the cargoes at a discount of $15-$16, another source said.

The lure of deeply discounted oil is probably outweighing the risks buyers face of any legal complications for purchasing the cargoes from Sudan.

Buyers could face private arbitration or even be dragged to the International Court of Justice, said a lawyer familiar with contract arbitration said, declining to be identified because he is not authorized to talk to the media.

OFFGUARD

Regular buyers of South Sudan oil were caught offguard when Khartoum started blocking exports in late December.

In addition to the three, at least seven tankers are still waiting at the port to lift December and January cargoes, raking up demurrage costs of $20,000-$22,000 per day, traders and shipbrokers said. Buyers include PetroChina, Glencore, Vitol, Trafigura and Arcadia, they said.

“There was no reason given. They just held back sailing,” a second trader with a Western firm said, adding that demurrage costs and the uncertainty were a “nightmare.”

South Sudan pledged to fully shut its output of 275,000 barrels per day (bpd) in two weeks, a move that could also cut off supplies to equity holders China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), Malaysia’s Petronas and India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp.

A third trader said buyers could declare force majeure if they still cannot lift the oil 30 days from the date of loading.

“Force majeure is the last resort if the cargo has not been loaded 30 days after the scheduled loading date. As long as the ship has not loaded the oil,” the trader said.

“It will be complicated to declare force majeure if the oil is already on board. How are you going to discharge the oil back into the shore tanks?”

South Sudan became independent in July under a 2005 peace agreement with Khartoum that ended decades of civil war but both sides have failed to agree how to untangle their oil industries.

(Additional reporting by Yaw Yan Chong and Osamu Tsukimori in TOKYO Editing by Manash Goswami and Simon Webb)